Stanley Whitney

Untitled, 2015

Gouache on Paper
Unframed : 11 x 15 inches (28 x 38 cm.)
Framed: 17 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches (45 x 55.2 cm.)
Very Good
Private Collection
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More information about this artwork

Stanley Whitney is an American painter known for his use of grids in his imagery. His art practice involves the use of bold, bright colors and a focus on abstraction. In his black and white drawings, Whitney often uses a grid-like structure as a starting point for his compositions. The grids serve as a framework for the placement of simple geometric shapes, such as squares and rectangles, which he then fills with gestural marks and bold lines. The resulting imagery is striking, with a strong sense of movement and energy. Whitney's use of grids in his artwork is often seen as a nod to the work of the American abstract painter, Agnes Martin, and the Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian. Abstract painter Stanley Whitney starts his work at the top and allows color to dictate the structure of his paintings. He composes with blocks and bars that create a call-and-response of color and rhythm, using square canvases divided into multiple registers. Whitney's oil paint is thinly applied to retain his active brushwork and create transparency and tension between rectilinear parcels of color. The artist draws inspiration from sources such as Mondrian, Morandi, and American quilts. Whitney's approach to painting was consolidated during his time in Rome in the 1990s, where he was inspired by Roman art and architecture. Although he studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and received an MFA from Yale, Whitney was at odds with the contemporary art scene of the 1970s and 1980s, instead choosing to focus on developing an abstract visual language. He continues to be inspired by his time in Italy, spending summers painting at his studio near Parma. Whitney's musical inspiration comes from experimental jazz, with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman as his soundtrack.

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